New BBC documentary investigates alleged assault and abuse of women in the music industry

New BBC documentary investigates alleged assault and abuse of women in the music industry

WARNING: This article includes accounts and imagery of sexual and domestic violence and may be distressing for some readers. Resources for support are listed at the end of this article

A new BBC Three documentary investigates how alleged assault and abuse of women in the music industry is dealt with.

Now available to watch on BBC iPlayer, the documentary – Music’s Dirty Secrets: Women Fight Back – looks at assault and abuse cases involving Erick Morillo, rapper Octavian and grime MC Solo 45, who was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison on charges of rape and holding women against their will. His initial sentence of 24 years was increased after appeal.

In the documentary, reporter Tamanna Rahman speaks to Kristen Knight (pictured) who says Erick Morillo – who died in September – sexually assaulted her in December 2019.

Speaking to Rahman, Kristen, a Miami-based DJ, said: “When I got to his house it was like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He immediately started coming on to me and I told him, ‘I’m not comfortable’, and it eventually got to the point where I was so uncomfortable that I left.

She says Morillo persuaded her to go back into his house and that she later fell asleep.

“When I woke up, I woke up in a panic, and then I realised I was naked. At some point then is when I had the flashbacks of Erick raping me.”

Kristen spoke to journalist Annabel Ross at the end of last year, saying “It is so important for women to come forward.” Prior to this, 10 accusers shared their stories of sexual assault and rape accusations against Morillo.

Hana, the ex-girlfriend of rapper Octavian, also appears in the BBC documentary to speak about alleged abuse. She originally accused him of domestic abuse last November, alleging “constant physical, verbal and psychological abuse”. She says it began after she fell pregnant and had abortion.

In Music’s Dirty Secrets: Women Fight Back, she says she received a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and alleges she was offered £20,000 to keep quiet.

She said: “They were offering me £20,000 to never speak on anything that’s happened in our relationship.

“Never tell any publications, never tell any family, never tell any friends, never say anything bad about Octavian or his career, or anything at all really. Delete all photos, all evidence, all videos. Just act as if I never existed.”

Singer FKA twigs recently revealed she was opening a lawsuit against Shia LaBeouf for “relentless” abuse while they were in a relationship. She also spoke to Louis Theroux on his Grounded podcast, where she detailed one incident.

“After the incident driving back from the desert where he was threatening to crash the car unless I said I loved him, and ended up basically strangling me in public at a gas station and nobody did anything. That was a really low moment for me because I felt like I’d never be believed.

“I remember going back to where I was staying and calling an abused women’s helpline, and her reaction to me was so serious. She was like, ‘OK, from what you’ve said, it feels to me like you’re in an unsafe place. Does your abuser know where you are? Who have you told about this?’ It felt really like… somebody is taking this so seriously and wants to get me somewhere safe, and that was a really massive wake-up call. That was the time when I realised, ‘I need a lot of help to get out of this’.”

Music’s Dirty Secrets: Women Fight Back is available to watch on iPlayer.

The UK’s 24-hour free-to-call National Domestic Abuse Helpline can be contacted by dialling 0808 2000 247.

AFEM sponsor a confidential support service for anyone affected by sexual harassment within the Electronic Music Industry
Health Assured provide the service to ensure confidential expert counselling
A safe and supportive environment for anyone who has been affected and needs guidance and support
Call 0800 030 5182, (Outside the UK: +44 800 030 5182) where trained experts will listen and support

[Photo: BBC]

Dave Turner is Mixmag’s Commercial Content Editor, follow him on Twitter

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